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Summary

Following their rampage through Southeast Asia and the Pacific in the five months after Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces moved into the Solomon Islands, intending to cut off the critical American supply line to Australia. But when they began to construct an airfield on Guadalcanal in July 1942, the Americans captured the almost completed airfield for their own strategic use. The Japanese Army countered by sending to Guadalcanal a reinforced battalion under the command of Col. Kiyonao Ichiki. The attack that followed would prove to be the first of four attempts by the Japanese over six months to retake the airfield, resulting in some of the most vicious fighting of the Pacific War.

During the initial battle on the night of August 20-21, 1942, Marines wiped out Ichiki's men, who - imbued with "victory fever" - had expected a quick and easy victory. William H. Bartsch draws on correspondence, interviews, diaries, memoirs, and official war records, including those translated from Japanese sources, to offer an intensely human narrative of the failed attempt to recapture Guadalcanal's vital airfield.

The book is published by Texas A&M University Press.

©2014 William H. Bartsch (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Bartsch succeeds in delivering another valuable glimpse into the lives of the average soldier. The depth of his research is on display throughout." (US Military Review)

What listeners say about Victory Fever on Guadalcanal

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

“We aren’t going to let those people lay up there all day”

I had hoped for more of storytelling rather than a factual list of happenings, but once it gets going, I rather enjoyed it and found it very interesting. Bill does a great job with narrating it; I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve listened to that he’s been involved in. This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

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A very unique book

In many ways this is a very unique book about any action in the Pacific in WW2.It focuses on the single opening action as the Japanese attempt to regain the island of Guadalcanal.We follow the story of both the American and Japanese combatants.What is unique about this book in the amazing level of detail from the Japanese point of view and the stories of individuals.All the more surprising considering the horrendous level of casualties amongst the Japanese participants.Spoilt by a rather abrupt ending to the book.

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Well Researched!

The author clearly did a wonderful job researching this historical/non-fiction. There was so many details and very well written descriptions that displayed how the whole event when down. I will say that it's not my usual listen and it was a little hard to get into at first, simply because of the volume of details we are given; but once I got deep enough into it I was interested. The narration was absolutely perfect for this type of book. Serious enough to display the tone of a historical but not monotonous like some documentary type narrations. Good differentiation between dialogue and the general narrative. Great representation of this historical event. I received a review copy at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.

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Victory of a historical audio

This is a historical real life event audio. This took place during World War Two. The Japanese brought the Americans into World a World Two . This shows what happened when the Americans landed on a place way before the Japanese expected them . The Americans took the Japanese by surprise and it showed in the results after the battle . Bill the narrator was phenomenal . He brought the story to life. He made this audio sound like you were at the place . His voice is strong and clear . You get pulled into the story

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  • Gillian
  • 25-11-18

Action Punctuated By The Dry, The Drudge

I suppose I expected more in the way of humanity and the experiences of the men who lived the combat of this, the first several weeks of Guadalcanal, seeing as the Publisher's Summary cites so many resources, especially diaries and memoirs. And while it does have the memories of many men, Victory Fever on Guadalcanal doesn't have many of them. For instance, a line will tell us about gnats swarming into eyes, suggesting hell to walk through, but we don't get anything about what the men actually experienced, how it felt to be walking through that. And there are many men. Many, many men. So many that I found it somewhat confusing at times. And there's planning for battles and engagements. Much, much planning. So much that I'd get somewhat bored at times (especially since hey! when has something ever gone according to plan?). Still, when the listener gets to the actual engagements, there's plenty of action to carry you through and Victory Fever on Guadalcanal delivers. It's really good there. Bill Nevitt does an admirable job, especially gamely running through the many Japanese names (tho' I'm no expert on Japanese, so I can't 100 per cent guarantee that it's all correct). And he does well in griping when someone gripes, elevating his voice when someone else shouts. I can't tell you how key this is if you're keeping a listener hooked in a book that could be considered dry at points. A good listen, enough to make me wonder about seeking out Guadalcanal Diary to find out the rest of the history. I received this audiobook free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

3 people found this helpful

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  • J.Brock
  • 15-11-20

Harrowing Account of Battle

"Victory Fever on Guadalcanal" is a narrative retelling of the battle of Guadalcanal. It is very cut and dry, with events being told in a sequential fashion. The accounts of the Marines, namely Bob Leckie, author of the famed "Helmet for my Pillow," shapes the harrowing account. All of the events that occurred are so incredible it leaves one in shock and awe. There is no detail left out and the accounts of all the Marines, some teenagers, are absolutely awe inspiring. What the men went through, and what they were more than willing to die for, should make every American so unbelievable grateful for their sacrifices. There are no words for such heroism and unflinching bravery. Bill Nevitt's narration is perfect for this work. He is so good at the bullet point like retelling of this battle. He's an ideal pick for this kind of a narrative account. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Margaret
  • 09-06-20

Interestingbook, appropriate narration

This is the first book i have read/listened to by this author. I’ll admit, I have not listened to the whole book yet., but have enjoyed what I’ve listened to. It was an interesting, informative look into something I did not know much about. This is the ninth book I have listened to by this narrator ( Bill Nevitt ) and I would listen to another. He once again provides a clear, well paced narration. I like to speed books up to at least 1.5x and I am able to do that easily with his narrations. There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence or swearing.??. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review. Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

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  • G. Eggleston
  • 12-05-20

"Enjoy the last few minutes of your life!"

I requested and received a complimentary review copy of "VICTORY FEVER". My review of it is voluntary, without favor toward the author (whom I have never met nor read the work of) nor am I under any compulsion to write it. I'm writing this review because I really like this book and I heartily recommend it. I increased the speed (to 1.25) as I often do with audiobooks, since narrators tend to read slow in order to avoid making mistakes, which are not allowed. This is a case, however, where even listening at normal speed is fine. The narrator himself (Bill Nevitt) has a pleasant voice to listen to for the 9 hours of the audiobook and does a great job. I've always been interested in World War 2, but most of my attention was focused on the European theater. In "Victory Fever on Guadalcanal" I was able to expand my understanding of the war as a whole by learning, in this fascinating account, about the Pacific theater. I like how both sides of the war were presented rather than a one-sided overview. I also like how the personal touch from soldier diaries/memoirs added humor, such as how seasoned Marines would laugh at the new recruits training and say "Enjoy the last few minutes of your life". It makes me wonder how much humor helped them cope with the harrowing times they lived through. I wondered, toward the end of the book, if some of those heroes who died heroically in battle were some of those seasoned Marines who'd laughed about death. Regardless, they were all heroes and I enjoyed hearing their story. If my review here has been helpful to you, please click "Helpful" below. It was my pleasure reviewing this book and I thank you so much for reading my review of it! My rating scale: 1 = Junk! (dumpster worthy) // 2 = Poor // 3 = Good (average) // 4 = Great // 5 = Excellent! (award worthy)

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  • Private
  • 10-05-20

Detailed and Well Researched... Great Narration

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review." It is clear that an extensive amount of research went into this book. The level of detail was impressive, I felt immersed in the story almost from the start. As a history buff, particularly of WW2, I thoroughly enjoyed listening. It is graphic, but I would assume that readers would be aware of that given the subject matter. Narration was strong, with clear sound quality and great inflection. He really brought the book to life.

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  • Susann
  • 24-04-20

WW2 is one f my favorite subject

Being a favorite subject of mine . Mr. Nevitt made this very interesting. My father a fighter pilot first or the RCAF then with the USAAC. He never spoke of anything until after he was in his 70's. My family whole family have fought for this country with courage and honor I think everyone should get this book and audiable. It's just great

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  • Keith LaDue
  • 21-04-20

Outstanding WWII Audible book!

I am a history, with deepest yearnings for WWII. This is an exceptional book in that genre. Zeroing in on Guadalcanal, Japan's first defeat is expertly presented, down to the squad level, up to Fleet admiral coverage. If you are a history buff of WWII, you will love this book. I just hope William H. Bartsch expands his coverage of pivotal events in history. As usual, Bill Nevitt does a tremendous narration of this book. I highly recommend this book. Now for the obligatory: "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

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  • Bruce Cline
  • 27-12-19

Little Battle, Huge Impact on the War

Victory Fever on Guadalcanal, Japan's First Land Defeat of World War II by William H. Bartsch. This is an incredibly detailed book about a key battle for the soon-to-be completed Japanese airfield at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Unlike many battle stories that are largely one-sided depictions of combat, the author conveys meticulously researched details of both the American and Japanese experiences in a compelling story. The narrative’s focus on the men of the attacking U.S. 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment in August 1942, is counterbalanced by personal narratives of individuals soldiers and officers of the Imperial Japanese Army’s Ichiki Detachment. Drawing from memoirs, personal diaries, military archives, and other sources from both sides, Bartsch gives a move by move, entrenchment by entrenchment, foray by foray depiction of bloody attacks and counter attacks of equally committed and brave soldiers. By describing the predictably poor communications, rough overgrown terrain, mis-identification of landmarks, and other elements of the fog of war, the reader gets some idea of the confusion and terror attendant to fighting in a jungle environment with few sight-lines. The story line alternates the two sides’ perspectives, providing the reader a sense of the back and forth movements of troops and battle momentum. Thankfully, the book is devoid of stereotypical portrayals of Japanese forces, in no small part because this was written long after the war was over. Rather, it describes very human, suffering Japanese troops who were as equally devoted to their comrades, military leadership, family, and country as were the eventually triumphant U.S. Marines. In terms of the cumulative numbers of soldiers involved, it was a small encounter. However, its importance cannot be overstated as it took away a nearly complete airfield and military footprint from the Japanese who were hoping to remove a vital pipeline of supplies to Allied troops from Australia. This was a thoroughly enjoyable and easy-to-listen-to audio book and is now one of my favorite WWII histories. NOTE: I was given a free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • S. H. Moore
  • 19-11-19

This a great Guadalcanal book, with caveats.

**I was given this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review** I have read and listened to several books on Guadalcanal and Operation Watchtower. This one stands out in some areas, however, it must be noted that it only covers infantry combat. There is no coverage of the sea battles in Iron Bottom Sound or mention of the doings over the Cactus Air force except for when their doings directly impacted the action already being covered. There also is no operational coverage. You will not be taught about the strategic goals or there application in the greater war effort. What you do get, and I particularly liked this, is visceral minute by minute descriptions of the action at the Tenaru. The first chapter does cover ship life in route to the Solomons. You will get a plethora of first hand accounts. Many of them are from notable people that have their own books. Robert Leckie, Sid Phillips, Eugene Sledge, ect. So in short if you want an over view of Guadalcanal, don’t get this book. If you want vivid, excellent combat action and lots of it, this is for you and I highly recommend it. This was also my first book narrated by Bill Nevitt, he is an excellent choice for the genre and I hope he does more military/history work. He also has a prefect pace for listening to 1x and 1.25x as well. Very well read in my opinion.

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  • Spiritwalker51
  • 14-11-19

Victory Fever on Guadalcanal

Victory Fever on Guadalcanal:Japan's First Land Defeat of World War II Author: William H. Bartsch Narrator: Bill Nevitt Listening Time: 9 Hrs. 3 Mins. I always like to preface any reviews I give with this information. I am a 68 year old female who has been an avid reader since I was around 10 or 11 years old. I read primarily for pleasure. I have a great many interests and do a lot of research for personal pleasure and knowledge as well. Ancient History, Archeology, Science, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery are some of the interests I have. Disclaimer: "This Audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost, in exchange for an unbiased honest review." Having had uncles that served in various military services during WW II, I grew up hearing a little about different things about World War II, and have always had an interest in this particular war; probably because it seemed more personal to me. I had an uncle who served in the Merchant Marines during world War II and survived to live to be 87 years old. This audiobook was different than most I listen to. I usually listen for pleasure but occasionally I like to learn about historical events by audiobook, rather than reading since hearing the audiobook makes it more realistic for me. This audiobook I had to listen to in parts as there was so much information to try to digest and to visualize. Also since Geography was never my strong suite, I had to get a visual sense of what was going on as well. These men did a great service and yet at times I was appalled at the lack of discipline some of these young men showed during this battle. Of course, having said that, they were "young men". The logistics truly were at times, nightmarish. The conditions were brutal and health problems were terrible as well. The one thing I can say is that the author had to do a phenomenal amount of research to bring this incredible piece of history to life the way he did. I was particularly interested in hearing the battle plans, and the steps the Japanese military took as well as those of our military. There were certainly gruesome parts that were hard to listen to, but I expected that with this kind of an audiobook and history of battle. Author William H. Bartsch is an author whose work I had never read/listened to before but I would again; as his attention to detail, his commitment to research, and the time it took to cover this amazing battle and make it something that was very real, and interesting, was no easy task. I don't know that many women are interested in World War II history so I can't say for certain but for me, as hard as it was to listen to some of this, it was also enlightening. As civilians, I don't think we have any idea of the kind of courage and bravery that fighting in a war involves! I have the utmost respect for any person who serves in the military. Narrator Bill Nevitt is someone whose work I have listened to and this also was a bit of a different listening experience for me. Usually there is less history in the narrations I have heard previous to this, and mainly voice acting, rather than listening to the history he was giving us AND the different voices he acted. I was truly impressed with his grasp of the names of the Japanese Military commanders and the different accents of the people he represented in this audiobook. His narrating is always exceptional and I did enjoy this as a listening experience as well as specific history I had not known. To give an age group who might enjoy this book/audiobook, I would think that anyone with an interest or love of history and especially history of World War II would find this audiobook well worth their time.